When you're ready to do creative placemaking, community coaching from Arts Build Communities can help. Through this program, an ABC coach will help your team build its ability to pursue a creative placemaking initiative. Successful teams come away from the program more knowledgeable and better positioned to address challenges and pursue opportunities for creative placemaking in their communities.
Any community within 2 1/2 hours of Newark, NJ is welcome to apply for the next available community coaching session, from September 2012 to March 2013. (Application deadline is September 1) See the application here.
It all starts with having the right group of people who share the same goals and a willingness to work together. Here are some tips on building that team.
2. If there's an arts council (or similar group) in the community, get at least one high-level person from that group on the team. While it might be tempting to make all the 10 members of your team from the arts council, you should try to make the team as diverse as possible. So try to have no more than three from the arts council. If there's no arts council, start by finding a local working artist who has an interest in making your community a better place to live, work, do business, play or pray in, or even just a better place to visit.
3. Find and get influential people from the community on the team. Think about the organizations or associations that are well-known or do a lot in the community. In many communities, the local chamber of commerce, historic society, large sports groups, and PTA are the top movers and shakers in the community. But if you're not sure, ask your friends or neighbors. When someone or some group is influential, other people in the community know.
4. Get a friendly elected official to get on board the team. It's critical that the team have the ear of at least one elected official in the community. ABC may consider working with a team that doesn't have an elected official if there is someone on the team who has direct access to elected officials -- but this would be for a rare circumstance.
5. Meet with the team (or as many members as you have) to decide what goal you want to pursue. You don't need to get into details -- that's what community coaching is for. If you can't get everybody in the same place at the same time, try a conference call or even an email discussion.
Once you have the team and a goal, you'll be ready for community coaching.
Need more advice or help? No problem. Please contact Leonardo Vazquez, ABC Director by email or at 848-932-2747